Monday, March 29, 2010
Effects of the retreat on land
The army's retreat to the east in June to July 1942 put great pressure on the navy and air force. The withdrawal of the fleet from Alexandria only made matters worse. Benghazi and even Tobruk were difficult to raid from the air. Benghazi could only be hit by B-24 Liberators, which had a great range with a good bomb load. The convoys in June and August had diverted the submarine force away from attacking Axis shipping in order to support the convoy operations. With the loss of the submarine tender Medway, the submarines ended up being based in Beirut, which had been a French submarine base. The navy had requested more submarines and destroyers, but only the submarines were available. The submarines previously based on Gibraltar were moved east to Beirut. This is based on the account in Vol.III of the Official History.